A few of my favorite things, part 2

Before we head off into the ale-spattered sunset that is St. Patrick’s Day weekend, I wanted to share the second half of my very, most favorite things I saw at Global Pet Expo. There was much and more there that I loved to pieces, but I wanted to focus on some of the more unusual products, since it’s the unexpected surprises that often delight me the most.

Arte House Vintage Prints


You all know how much I love art, right? And I’m really picky about the aesthetics of what I put on my walls. The combination of wooden print, perfect quotes and whimsicle-without-being-sappy visuals make these pieces pitch-perfect. Next on my to acquire list is the Black Dog Doughnuts sign from the Bailey series.




Completely self-contained and self-sustaining, this little shrimp world takes care of itself for an average of two years with no work on your part except admiration. The bio geek in me loves this. I want to set one up next to a jellyfish tank and just nerd out.


Ai Kiou Feeders

Stimulo cat feeder

There are lots of interactive bowls on the market, but this is the first one I’ve seen for cats. The Stimulo is meant to challenge your cat to fish out their food bit by bit- it was a huge hit at Global this year, with good reason.


Boo Boo Loon

Boo Boo  Loo

No one likes the cone of shame. Not pets, not the owners who have to wrestle with them, and not even us vets, because we know half the time you all get frustrated with them and just leave them off, and then your pet ends up doing whatever it was the cone was supposed to prevent and it’s just a big mess.

There are a few ‘gentler’ alternatives to the standard plastic satellite dish out there, but this Boo Boo Loon is one of my favorites. I tried one on. Yes, I did. It was comfortable. It’s easily adjustable/customizable, it doesn’t impede your peripheral vision, it’s light, and it doesn’t turn your head into an echo chamber. In short, it solves all the major complaints people have with the plastic e-collars. If you have a dog who’s prone to injury or you know there’s a procedure coming up, I wouldn’t hesitate to have one at home and ready to go. It’s a great product.


And last but not least, I do have to give an honorable marketing mention to the people at Urine Off. If you’ve ever been to any sort of pet or vet related conference, you’ve seen people dragging these rolling boxes around the conference floor proclaiming, in huge purple and yellow letters, the powers of Urine Off.

I always wondered why it was so popular. I assumed that they offered some sort of incredible conference special, and hordes of people were scooping this stuff up by the barrel because they had a cat colony at home that was covering their home in urine. “I guess it must work,” I would think, and then be grateful I didn’t need so much urine remover that it required a roller bag to lug it around.

As it turns out, the box is just that- the box, proffered to you empty to fill as you will. Conferences tend to pile on the freebies, papers, and samples very rapidly, and those big shoulder bags get heavy after a bit. So, the Urine Off people decided to offer a more ergonomic solution. Your shoulders are saved and they get some indispensable advertising. Smart.

I only learned this because I found Caroline lugging one around, and I asked her if Romeo had been having more litterbox issues at home and why would she need so much urine remover. She looked at me with some confusion, then showed me what was inside her box:

Everything BUT urine remover, it would seem. Litter samples, a cookie, some Hello Kitty Bandaids, a change of shoes, an ipad she won at another booth. You can fit a whole lot in an empty Urine Off box. So I used it to store my notebook while we were off shooting our video and everyone was happy.

Filed: Blog, Health, Lifestyle, Pet Gear Tagged: , , , , ,
  • Sue W.

    Me loves loves loves the vintage prints (and the Black Dogs). Also, the Boo Boo Loon is well worth remembering! You’ve done well, grasshopper. Although I probably would not go for the shrimp thingy. Shrimp, to me, are only good as dinner – not as a visual feast.

    • See, I don’t eat them, so I figure might as well watch them. I would love to see the cat’s reaction to an impregnable seafood buffet.

  • Vonny

    “ale-spattered sunset that is St.Patrick’s Day”. Snort, chortle, guffaw. Totally appropriate description.

    I never understood the cone of shame tag, why not just cone? There’s nothing shameful about an animal doing what comes naturally, i.e., picking at something foreign.

    • I think it has to do with the forlorn look on their face when they have to walk around in one, like, “What did I possibly do to deserve this??”

  • Anonymous

    Love the print with the Will Rogers quote! Seriously! Might have to buy it. And I’m very interested in the Stimulo cat bowl. I could see Alley being intrigued by that.

    Last, but not least, Caroline WON an iPad at a booth?!?!?! How lucky was she?

    • I know, right? Lucky duck. I never win stuff. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • sandy weinstein

    i love these things…..now if anyone has the chance to visit raleigh, nc, please go to the new veternary school. it is just beautiful. it stays open 24/7 for emergencies and you do not need a referral from your vet for an emergency. i have often called for advice and a vet has called me back. i believe they said it cost 80 million, but dont hold me to that. it has better equipment (lasers, mri, etc) that our local hospitals (people from the local hospitals visited and were jealous that the machines for the dogs were better than what they had for people), everything is stainless steel, the lights in the er are soft, w/ windows so that the dogs that need to be watched all nite can sleep, they have some type of color coating, but you can still see, there are separate entrances for the area that you need to go, there is a room that you can visit your dog while he is in the hospital, as well as a big walk area that is fenced in, everything can be hosed down, they have some sort of sprinkler system that takes care of cleaning and sanitizing the areas, there is an area for animals that need to be quaranteened but can still be watched by the vets on duty.all of the eqiupment is the latest in the state of the art. vets are there 24/7….and the artwork is unbelievable. they have a wall of survivors (cancer) for both cats and dogs…all done alike. there is a coffee shop, waiting room w/ lounge for visitors…i believe there is a pool for theraphy as well, i know one was in the talks. at the moment nc vet school is no. 2 or 3 in the country, but they expect that to change soon and be no 1. they also have a program that if you cant afford to pay for the treatment/surgeries, a fund is set up thru donations. they just did hip replacement on a cat, knee replacement, which will be good for older dogs that have hip displasia so you dont have to put them down. they have developed articial limbs for both cats and dogs that are permanent. they also work on horses.
    one of my dogs was hospitalized several yrs ago, but at old vet school. i could not beleive the care she got. they have vet students that watch the er patients 24/7, several students, you can visit your dog, you make an appointment to spend time w/ your dog, if they are on iv’s you can go back to sit w/ them, the vet students/vets come talk to you abt the prognosis, etc. it is better than going to your own dr.
    they did not tear down the old vet school, are using it for birds, etc.
    they have open houses every yr to show people the school, give you a tour, you can even see dogs/cats being spayed, etc.
    they also have the dog olympics every yr which is very big…
    so if anyone gets a chance to come to raleigh, nc please visit the vet school.

    • Wow, that is great to hear. I didn’t realize NC had put so much into their school.

  • LB

    Wow looks like a lot of fun. I would spend a whole week at an expo like that. Heck, I could spend months in NY, and I just came back from a week there. LOVE IT!

    I had to laugh at the Ai Kiou Feeders, only because my Siamese wouldn’t go for it at all. I have tried the whole, bowl over a plate trick, and many other ways to get her to be more active while eating. She will, seriously, stand by the food dish or whatever toy it is, look at, look at me, and then meow. She would rather go without eating, than trying to find food. She will “talk” to me the whole time. I even tried letting her go without food for a night. She “told” me how unhappy she was with the idea and then slept the rest of the time. Crazy Siamese!

    I think my other cats would love it, as long as it had fish in it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ha- a Siamese who just wants to talk? Inconceivable! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Way cool stuff…I think my next purchase might be a Stimulo, and kudos to Urine Off for a clever marketing idea! I do like their product the best of all I have used, too

    • So you have tried Urine Off? I have so much urine remover that I just haven’t gotten around to that one yet. I should be glad I’m not going through it that quickly.

  • Anonymous

    I love those prints. Everytime I go to our local art shop, I look at the Black Dog doughnuts signs and sigh. I covet thm quite badly, but I would have to redecorate around them! LOL, would that be bad?

    • Nah, that sounds like something I would do. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • I have not seen the Boo Boo Loon here but yesterday I bought a Nutri-Vet Protective Inflatable Collar just before I picked my Labrador up from the clinic after having 3 lumps removed from her right side and abd. This collar has a protective outer jacket.
    She cannot get at her side or abd. It would not be good for preventing her from licking her feet.. I decided to buy this after reading your review on the Boo Boo Loon and decided it might be a better than the cone of shame.
    I have to say this rocks. Thanks for the timely review.. I am sure Caley would thank you as well..

    • I’m so glad to hear that! I think I’ve seen those inflatable collars in the stores. I take it it’s working out well for Caley.

  • Rachel

    The urine off box was a lifesaver to carry everything! I think that box is a brilliant idea..the company had walking billboards all over the expo hall!

  • I love those vintage prints – so cute!